Fernando Torres has opened up about his torrid time at Chelsea in an interview with Spanish daily El Pais. The Spanish striker, who spent three-and-a-half seasons at Stamford Bridge from 2011 to 2014, never got into his stride with the club and was eventually sold to AC Milan.
He did not perform with the Italian giants either, and was therefore sent on loan to his boyhood club, Atletico Madrid. Last night, he helped the La Liga outfit qualify for the quarter-finals of the Champions League, as they beat Bayer Leverkusen on penalties.
Of his time with Chelsea, where he shared a hot and cold relationship with the fans, he stated:
‘The worst part of not playing is when you think you’re prepared and ready to do it. I tried to get minutes at Chelsea and seize opportunities, but things do not always go the best way, and can drag on for weeks or even years.
It was like swimming with wet clothes on. Now I know how I am, and I’m fine. At the end those doubts about your quality eventually disappear.’
Signed for a then British record fee of £50 million from Liverpool, Torres struggled to establish himself as a regular first-teamer early on at Chelsea. A prolonged goal-drought meant that Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka were preferred up front. After the duo left in the 2011/12 season, it was the Spaniard who took centre-stage.
Even then, he didn’t perform consistently. In his time at the club, he only managed 20 goals in the Premier League. To put things into context, Diego Costa has already scored 18 in 8 months.